Suffice to say, this year’s Halloween is on ice. Costume parties are being postponed until 2021, and even the most adventurous kids might balk at putting a mask over the one they’re already wearing. But while most of 2020’s Halloween traditions are being paused by Covid-19, there’s still one that a global pandemic can’t take away: the right to spend the holiday lying on the couch with a bag of fun-sized candy bars and all the werewolves, vampires, and mermen you can handle. From old favorites to new classics, here are 15 of the best horror movies to put you in the Halloween spirit, all of which you can stream right now.
The Invisible Man
The Invisible Man helped strengthen H. G. Wells’ reputation as the Father of Science Fiction when it was first published in 1897. And while it’s been adapted a number of times in the 120-plus years since, it took Leigh Whannell (the man behind Saw and the Insidious movies) to put a simple but brilliant spin on the well-worn story: a feminist edge. Instead of devoting the bulk of The Invisible Man’s screentime to the titular big bad, it’s his estranged wife (Elisabeth Moss)—who has suffered abuse at the hands of her scientist husband for too long—who turns out to be the hero. Moss turns in a great performance, as per usual, and the spectacular effects only add to this worthy—and worthwhile—update.
Where to stream it: HBO Max
An American Werewolf in London
Horror-comedy is not an easy genre to pull off—especially when a movie like John Landis’ An American Werewolf in London has been around for comparison for nearly 40 years. American pals David (David Naughton) and Jack (Griffin Dunne) get slightly lost as they backpack their way through England and end up being attacked by a werewolf. While Jack is torn to bits, David survives but wakes up weeks later in a London hospital with little recollection of what happened. Fortunately, his old pal Jack—looking very much worse for the wear—shows up to warn David that a full moon is coming and if he doesn’t kill himself before it arrives, he too will transform into a flesh-craving canine. Landis expertly balances laugh-out-loud humor with genuinely terrifying frights—most of them courtesy of special effects makeup wizard Rick Baker, who won a much-deserved Oscar for his work on the film (the werewolf transformation scene is iconic for a reason). Throw in a killer soundtrack and one of cinema’s most satisfyingly efficient endings and you’ve got a horror-comedy for the ages.